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Diplomat: T&T, Nigeria can learn from each other
A State visit to Nigeria by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other officials should be high on the Government's agenda says Deputy High Commissioner of Nigeria Bade Fuye. Fuye was the feature speaker at the annual Tubal Uriah Butler Par Excellence Awards hosted by the Fyzabad Improvement Committee at the Fyzabad Regional Complex. He said the recent visit to Trinidad by Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan put both countries in a better position to learn from each other.
“Both are developing nations that are understandably in a hurry to improve the standard of living of their citizens through self-reliance and cooperation. In these circumstances there are ample opportunities for collaboration between our two nations,” Fuye said. Noting the similar struggles against colonialism in both countries, Fuye lauded late labour leader Tubal Uriah Butler’s contributions to the worldwide struggle for “freedom and dignity.”
He said Butler’s story was not unlike that of Nigerian labour leader Pa Michael Imondu, whom he called a “contemporary” of Butler. According to Fuye, Imondu mobilised Nigerian rail workers in the 1940s which became a precursor to the movement for Nigerian independence.
“That defining struggle gave a direct impetus to the parallel political fight by the nationalists of the time. The nationwide strikes led by Pa Imondu were more than a confrontation for improved conditions of service,” he said. “The fierce engagement with the colonial authorities was to sharpen the culture of awareness and racial assertiveness that has become the hallmark of Nigerians anywhere they find themselves today.”
Award recipients included Justice Anthony Carmona of the International Criminal Court, calypsonian Brian London, T&T 2012 Olympic team manager Dexter Voisin, National Women’s Football team assistant coach Chris Bailey, U15 National Football team member Shanice Garcia and radio announcer Phillip Simmons.
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